Wine bar in Isle sur la Sorgue (c) Kritsin Espinasse

I used to dream of having a writer's room in Paris. Lately, I would rather live life (the stuff of books) rather than dream of writing about it. Writing isn't, after all, a romantic life. Life is a romantic life!

Book update: If all goes well, I will upload my book to tonight! Tamara and Erin, at TLC Graphics, are putting on the finish touches now. Fingers crossed that Blossoming in Provence will be ready to order very soon! 

patate (pah-tat) noun, feminine

    1.  sweet potato
    2. imbecile

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc read these French Expressions: Download MP3 or Wav file

une patate douce = sweet potato, yam
un sac à patates = a dress (or something) without a shape
avoir la patate = to feel great, full of energy
en avoir gros sur la patate (from "en avoir gros sur le coeur") = to be very sad
rouler en chasse-patates = (cycling term) to be between two groups of cyclists, unable to pass the first group, while not being surpassed by the second 

Note: patate is also a synonym for pomme de terre, or potato

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Today, Smokey receives a letter from a long-time fan...
(note: click here for the English translation to this letter)

Cher Smokey,

Un revenant!  Dis-donc ça faisait un bail qu'on ne te voyait plus.
On commençait à se demander si Kristin t'avait mis en gage chez son éditeur.
Mais heureusement tu es bien là, pareil à toi-même: ravissant, la truffe au vent, l'oeil aux aguets, l'appétit en éveil... et tu penses: 

"Les patates douces, quel délice!...



Goûtons voir ça... un coup de langue, avant le coup de dents, ensuite... le coup de grâce! Hmm, pas mal!... Nom d'un chien, zut, foutu!... On m'avait à l'oeil!  C'est pas un cadeau une vie de chien,  j'vous jure! "
Bisous de Carol
from Carol Donnay, in Belgium (don't miss her blog!)
Note: I will put the English translation to Carol's story here, in the comments box. Please feel free to help correct my English text!
Le Coin Commentaires

Help me to thank Carol for her histoire a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e! I love Carol's letters to Smokey. You can read another one, here and here. Meantime, click here to leave a message in the comments box. 

  DSC03650   DSC03656   DSC03661 
Ca fait un bail = ça fait longtemps =  it's been a while
Mettre en gage = déposer comme garantie = to leave as a guarantee
Le coup de grâce = évènement qui achève de perdre quelqu'un déjà en difficulté = something that takes place that saves someone in difficulty (thanks to Jeff Cwiok for this definition:
'Le coup de grâce'... is 'something that takes place that "finishes off" someone (or something) in difficulty. The phrase originated in Medieval times when, after mortally wounding an adversary, it was considered an act of mercy (grâce) to end his suffering with a final blow (le coup).
Foutu = busted
Avoir à l'oeil = surveiller de près = to watch closely
A l'oeil = gratuitement = free 
C'est pas un cadeau = quelque chose ou quelqu'un de déplaisant = something or someone unpleasant


Tomatoes--two summers ago. Last summer there were little tomatoes popping up in the most unlikely places (in the middle of a flower patch, and even behind the house!). I guess the wind had spread the dried tomato's seeds... in time to give us a future bounty!

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
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